With the entire island only 17 miles long and a few miles wide, Mahe reigns supreme in pristine beaches. And how picturesque can you get? A small mountain chain runs down the center of Mahe, and the land flattens out as it reaches the shoreline. Along the north coast there are both beautiful beaches and really nice restaurants and hotels. On the flat ring around Mahe is where the main road runs and connects towns and villages all around. Beau Vallon sits northwest and was the main beach in the Seychelles for many years until tourist started taking a greater interest and it became easier to get to the nearby smaller islands. Today Beau Vallon is still beautiful, but it’s not as busy as it once was. So grab your snorkel and head here first.
If you were considering travel insurance, forget the insurance. You will not be disappointed by the beaches at this destination.
Most Americans have never heard of this place. So, first, a bit of history.
Imagine finding these gems of the Indian Ocean for the first time. No humans. Just flora and fauna. While Arab traders were probably the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles, the first recorded sighting of them took place in 1505, by the Portuguese. As a transit point for trading between Africa and Asia, they were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control of the islands starting in 1756, naming them after Jean Moreau de Sechelles, the then French finance minister.
So where in the world are the Seychelles?
The Seychelles constitute an large group of small islands in the Indian Ocean – about 115 in all of which 33 are inhabited. The group of islands around Mahé consist of granite and are the largest and the most populated of the country. The remaining outer group consists of smaller coralline atolls. The capital city, Victoria, is situated on Mahé, which is the largest island and home to about 80% of the total population, as well as the Seychelles’ highest point, the Morne Seychellois at 905 m.
The local climate is tropical, tempered by marine influences and fairly humid. The southeast monsoon is a generally cooler season which lasts from late May to September, while the warmer northwest monsoon lasts from March to May. The Seychelles are fortunate to lie outside the tropical cyclone belt.
Seychelles largely escaped the Asian Tsunami of December 2004 spawned by an earthquake. However, the islands did see significant flooding and damage – as well as large loss of marine life and death toll of three persons.
This has to be the most concentrated place on earth for beaches. We start with the island of Mahé. Beau Vallon to the north, is the most frequented beach in the region and perhaps the most popular on the island. And with good reason. Easy access and short distance from Victoria, it’s close for everyone.
Even though the beach is spectacular, there have been problems with over-commercialization. Tim Ecott, a regular visitor to the Seychelles for many years, wrote, “At the Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort there were five waitresses in the pizzeria, and we were the only customers. For 20 minutes the staff chatted among themselves, occasionally sauntering between the tables adjusting the knives and forks in a desultory way. Two appeals for service were sullenly ignored, and eventually I had to leave the table and approach the cashier to place my order. In more than 10 years of eating there, I’ve never known it to be any different. The Beau Vallon was one of the original nationalized hotels, and it seems some things never change.”
Hopefully, your visit to Beau Vallon, Mahé, Seychelles, will be different than Tims’.
- Sand – white powder, soft – During the North West monsoon from November to around April, sand is removed from the beach by the powerful waves and currents and during that time the beach is more or less covered completely by the swells during high tides. A direct result of this has been the degradation and cracking of the existing seawall which protects the public road that runs parallel to the beach.
- Facilities – full service
- Shade – large adult trees and palm trees
- Sports – full service
- Notes – large beach, crystal clear water